If You See a Bluebird

Pajama Pr. Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781772782844.
K-Gr 3–Sensitive readers deserve this thoughtful, nuanced tale of loss of safety in Afghanistan and immigration and adjustment to a new life in Canada. It is told through the eyes of an empathetic young boy who lives with his mother, father, and nana. Grimard effectively uses a change of palette to transport readers to Afghanistan as the protagonists experience a nostalgic homesickness for the home they left behind, as well as the trauma of the military’s visit to his original home. Rahman (The Blue Sky Bench) conveys the child’s helplessness in the national circumstances and the family’s decision-making process. Much of the complexity is expressed by the grandmother who is depicted with quiet sadness, inner strength, affirmation, and optimism with her character ultimately reframing the concept of “home” to her grandson as loving connection and relationships. An author’s note explains the author’s connection to immigration as rooted in his personal experience and professional work as a policy maker. The book’s text ends with a quote from Rumi and illustrated endpapers that suggest the possibility of maintaining connection to the geographically far away through the post.
VERDICT Recommended for picture book collections, especially those endeavoring to affirm the challenges faced by children who experience immigration and cultivate empathy among those who have not.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing